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Shoes, coats needed for children

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com
The Students in Transition program is looking for the public's help in acquiring more shoes for students in need. Samie Hefner is shown here stocking new shoes on Thursday.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

At the conclusion of the drive to collect shoes for children in need in the Carson City School District, organizers find themselves still short.

Sole Mates: Stepping up to Help Kids, sponsored by The Lodge, an assisted-care facility, collected 52 pairs of shoes, according to Gina Hein, outreach coordinator. Last year, she said, they collected 63 pairs.

Peggy Sweetland, director of the Students in Transition program, said she received 160 requests for shoes at the beginning of the year. “Easily, 100 more pairs would be helpful,” Sweetland said.

She said she would like to continue collecting shoes at the same time she kicks off the annual coat drive.

“To start out your day with cold feet and cold hands, you are at a disadvantage,” she said. “Our kids do a good job of soldiering up. They get up and get to school and do their best.”

Sweetland said about 320 students are registered for the McKinney-Vento Students in Transition program, which serves children living in motels, cars, campgrounds or doubling up with other families.

That number will likely grow throughout the year.

“We expect by December to have at least 420,” Sweetland said. “As it gets colder out, that’s when more parents become desperate. That’s when they reach out for help.”

Coat sizes needed are boys and girls sizes 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12; men’s and women’s sizes small, large, X-large and XX-large.

Coats and shoes may be dropped off at the Lodge or McKinney-Vento Students in Transition office through Nov. 5.

“If you start the day warm, you’re going to have a more successful day,” Sweetland said.